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Globally, earning a living as a farmer has become increasingly difficult. More and more young people are choosing to leave the farm and migrate from the country to the city for new opportunities. Negative perceptions of farming and the negative impacts of climate change, only exacerbate the problem. This trend threatens the future of our entire food system.
Source: Country Living, December 6, 2018
What are we doing to change the situation?
We are helping young people to make agriculture a profitable and sustainable career choice, by becoming ‘agripreneurs’. We believe that this will ensure the long-term quality and sustainability of our supply chain as well as helping to provide fulfilling jobs for the next generation of farmers.
Our agripreneurship programme helps young farmers with:
- Technical training – in modern farming practices, regenerative agriculture and financial analysis to assess competitiveness, efficiency and productivity
- Understanding ‘farm to fork’ – the complete supply chain, including customers / consumers and the political landscape
- Personal growth – through insights training, presentation skills and media training
Through the programme we:
- Support existing apprenticeship schemes – identifying current apprenticeships for young people and ways we can help
- Devise new schemes – funded by the apprenticeship levy and based on needs identified by the industry
- Promote opportunities for women in agriculture – identifying new approaches, implementing and enabling role modelling
The agripreneurship programme will also help participants to:
- Gain the knowledge and skills to train others and help to develop the programme in the longer term
- Actively support the agripreneurship strategy – helping us with our external commitments, such as our school engagement programme; leading Nestlé and stakeholder visits to their farms and representing Nestlé at external meetings, conferences, etc.
- Take a role in industry groups – gaining appointment to industry bodies, becoming actively involved in industry discussions and policy-making and representing Nestlé in industry forums.
The Next Generation Dairy Leaders Programme gives young farmers valuable insights into dairy industry politics, advanced farm management, financial management and effective communication. This helps the farmers of the future to build the practical tools and confidence to step forward and take the lead.
Our agripreneurship programme was designed to help farmers in a number of ways:
- Alignment of quality from farm to factory
- Lean and digital dairy farming
- Future generations of farmers though our Next Generation Leaders and Women in Agriculture programmes
- Engaging with local communities
- Regenerative agriculture
- Animal welfare
- Transparency and traceability
Women in agriculture
Through Nestlé’s Milk Plan we currently support 27 women in farming, providing a network and opportunity to learn and discuss barriers to success in farming.
Alliance for YOUth
Committed to developing joint initiatives to provide meaningful work experience, the Alliance mobilises employees in local communities to help young people prepare for work.
Local colleges have developed new courses such as Stone Walling to help our farmers deliver their environmental commitments on behalf of Nestlé.
School visits and volunteering
We encourage participants in our agripreneurship programme to engage with their local community by visiting schools to help children better understand food, farming and the natural environment.
A growing concern
We started our agripreneurship programme with dairy farmers in 2020. We have expanded the scheme to include dairy and wheat farmers in 2021. In 2022, we will expand it further to include sugar.